I Feel Like I Hate My Mom! What Do I Do?
By Mason Komay
Updated February 11, 2020
Reviewer Nicole Gaines, LPC
"I feel like I hate my mom!" At first glance, those are pretty strong, negative words. Depending on the emotions behind those words, it could be a pretty strong assertion. If you've said or thought that phrase because you were angry temporarily and the moment passed, you don't need to do anything. This is completely normal and far more common than you might think. If you constantly feel like you hate your mom for specific reasons and you can't seem to shake away the thought, that's something entirely different.
The reality is that not every person was meant to be a mother. On the whole, most mothers are very good mothers. However, not everyone is blessed to have one of those. When you do have hateful feelings towards your mother, it's important to recognize why it happened, deal with feeling empty inside, and work toward healing with or without her.
Situations That Create Hurt and Distance Between Mothers and Children
Many situations can cause hurt and distance between mothers and children. Regardless of the reason, it's never something that anyone should have to go through.
For whatever reason, some parents can be self-centered, abusive, or neglectful. Parents who struggle with finances, jobs, poverty, or other stressors often mean well, but feelings of being overwhelmed leave little time and energy left for nurturing their children. This is especially common among mothers who live with mental health disorders. It may be that they've never been properly diagnosed or treated for their mental illness, or perhaps they've been diagnosed and have refused to participate in treatment. Mothers who struggle with alcoholism or addiction may not be able to be a part of their children's lives until after they've been through a successful recovery.
Whatever the reason, having a hurtful or non-existent relationship with your mother feels unfair. You may be thinking, "Why does everyone else have the benefit of a loving relationship with their mother, and I get nothing?" or "Why do I hate my mom?" Those are fair questions that can leave you feeling empty inside and deeply scarred, especially when society stresses that your mother is supposed to be the most important person in your life.
How to Deal with Feeling Empty Inside
When feeling empty inside becomes too much to handle, it's anything but weightless. Emotional emptiness is heavy, and it hurts. Suppressed emotions tend to accumulate and weigh you down even further, but you don't have to feel that way.
According to PsychCentral.com, it's not uncommon for motherless children to feel empty inside. On days when you're feeling this way, acknowledge the pain, and be gentle with yourself. You have no control over your mother's actions, but you always have control over your actions. So, take charge and start by getting rid of shame and self-criticism. Stop punishing yourself for feeling numb. It will only reinforce your numbness and send you into an endless cycle of sadness.
Take some time to focus on yourself. What are your desires? What about your fears? What changes can you make starting today that will give you more meaning in your daily life and your future?
Different activities have different meanings for different people, so set out to discover the best way for you to focus some well-deserved time on yourself. Whether that means meditating, walking, journaling, painting, or taking a long drive through beautiful countryside, give it a shot. Try to do something that allows you the time and ability to do some critical thinking. Does it feel uncomfortable for you? For many people, it does in the beginning, but the more you practice giving yourself a little self-care, the more likely it is that feeling of emptiness will start to dissipate.
It sounds a little cliché, but try to watch your diet and stick to healthy, balanced foods. When you eat an unhealthy diet, you are naturally going to feel unhealthy. After all, you are what you eat. Try to get enough sleep, too. It's a lot easier to slump into nothingness when you're mentally and emotionally depleted. Set boundaries or cut ties with any toxic people in your life, even if those toxic people include your mother. It will be easier to make room for people who fulfill you and bring happiness into your life.
Handling Mother's Day and Other Special Days
When you don't have a relationship with your mother, Mother's Day, holidays, and other special occasions where friends are enjoying time with their mothers can be difficult. Here are some ways to help you get through those times where you can feel the loneliest.
Stay off social media channels a few days before and after Mother's Day. It will help avoid reading the things others say about their moms. Put filters on your email account to prevent Mother's Day ads from getting through, or simply empty the junk file without reviewing it first.
You can still celebrate Mother's Day by honoring someone who has been like a mother to you. If you have children of your own, take them out, and celebrate yourself. After all, you have your very own holiday. Go out with friends and celebrate the fact that mothering is one of life's greatest gifts. You can even donate the money that you would have spent on Mother's Day to your favorite charity or cause.
Although this can be challenging at first, you must recognize that your mom's issues are hers alone. You can't control what she says and does, but you can control your response to it. Verbally validate yourself by saying out loud, "I am worthy. I don't need my mother's love or validation." Accept that most mothers are deserving of honor and respect, but that is earned just like in any other relationship. Surround yourself with people who know your story and will understand your feelings about your mother.
Healing from a Bad Relationship with Your Mother
We are told that our relationships with our parents are supposed to be the most important relationships in our lives. Unfortunately, that's not the way things happen for some people. One way or another, it's worth a shot to work towards healing from a bad relationship with your mother.
A big decision in your healing process is to decide whether to include your mother. This is a personal decision that only you can make, and is the most important time in your life to trust yourself truly. If you feel like it will strengthen you to have her there, consider asking her to accompany you to a counseling session where a therapist can help you sort things out together. Something that makes a big difference in answering the question about whether to include your mother is whether they've done their work in healing from abuse, substance abuse, or mental health disorders. Moms who have worked hard to work on themselves may be more deserving of a second chance.
Always make the best decision for yourself based on your needs. This isn't an attempt to heal her from her issues, so don't feel obligated to ask her to join you on her behalf. During sessions, don't feel obligated to protect her from the issues that brought you to this point.
Including Your Mother in The Healing Process
If you believe that it will be helpful for you to invite your mother to all or part of your counseling sessions, choose your time to bring up the subject wisely. Do it in person and pick a time when the mood is calm without any distractions. Try to anticipate her response and tell her that you have compassion for her and the things that led up to how she parented you. Let her know that it's time for you to work on your healing. Assure her that it's not your intent to blame her or shame her, but that your only goal is to air the issue and move forward in an emotionally healthy way.
You can try to have healing discussions on your own, but a therapist will provide a safe space where both of you feel comfortable sharing in an honest, genuine way. If you think there's a possibility that you can heal from your wounded relationship together, it can be worth taking a chance on. You both have much to gain if it works. If it doesn't work, you have nothing to lose that you haven't already.
Working on the Healing Process Alone
If you're convinced that your mother can't join you in a therapy session successfully, you're probably right. If she's the kind of person who will deny it or say that you're just blowing things out of proportion, a therapy session will probably not be productive. If you suspect that she'll only say something abusive, twist your words, use past situations against you, or blow up, there's no point in subjecting you to more harm. It's okay to move forward towards healing without her. Put your energy into healing yourself from your pain. There are no wrong answers as you pursue healing through therapy. You must move forward in a way that's best for you and also know that you are definitely not alone. There are many people who have had to go no contact with their mother either for a short while or for life to be able to have a happy life.
Licensed counseling for family relationships is nothing to be feared. On the contrary, it offers many useful, proven benefits that can help you and your mother work through your issues in the most comfortable way possible. If the two of you can both agree to seek counseling together, it will be significantly more productive than going it alone. If you suffer from childhood trauma, your past experiences might hold you back from considering therapy. However, with certain treatment methods like Somatic Experiencing Therapy, a counselor can help stabilize your trauma by productively releasing bottled up negative energy kept inside you. Not only will this increase the likelihood of reconnecting with your mother, but it will also help to release your conflicted emotions rather than containing them. If you feel like you hate your mom, family counseling can equip both of you with the tools you need to heal and strengthen your relationship.
Having a deep conflict with your own mother is difficult enough as it is, and the last thing you should be dealing with is organizing countless face-to-face counseling sessions. This is where online counseling services like ReGain come in. With the guidance of one of our licensed therapists, online counseling cuts out the need for long drives and inconvenient appointment times. Instead, you have the freedom to reach out to your counselor whenever and wherever you want, at a fraction of the cost of in-person sessions. Below are some reviews of ReGain counselors for you to review, from people experiencing similar issues.
"Heather is a wonderful support to me in my journey of self discovery and enlightenment of my relationship and my life. Through her help, I am becoming clearer in myself of who I am, and how the challenging relationships I have had with my mother and have with my husband have affected me. I am learning life skills and boundaries that protect me and I am on a path to find the emotion of joy as part of my daily life and I truly believe, with Heather's help I can get there."
"Ivy has helped me find a way to relax. She also helped me understand what was going wrong with myself and my relationship with my family. Thank you, Ivy!"
Arguing with your mother is one thing, but feeling as though you may hate her is a totally different story. However, this doesn't mean that you need to cut your ties with her whatsoever. We've got your back, and our licensed counselors are professionally trained to heal your wounds and begin a new path toward a better, healthier mother-child relationship. We're here - take the first step.